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We need to stand with our farmers today

The Americans and Europeans—both the public and the
governments—have never ceased to support their farmers.
We should also come forward in support of them.

Ajay Shukla

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With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of companies laid off their workforce, while others made cuts in their salaries. The question is: Did it help them tide over the problems created by the pandemic? The answer is no. 

This question was raised by renowned industrialist Ratan Tata. He opined that companies should be compassionate towards their workers. It is neither a remedy nor an act of humanity to discard their workers in distress who have toiled hard for the success of their companies. Instead, the management of companies should work towards possibilities of resolution of distress. 

Companies are formed not by their assets, but by their workforce. This is the reason that Tata, without any support from the government, has maintained a name which has immense goodwill and faith, even in these times. The government should also work towards possibilities and policies dedicated to better public welfare. The Governments of Canada and China have worked on these issues, and as a result, these countries have fared well and proven themselves better than others in these times. 

However, there are only a selected few like Tata, and our country is in dire straits. The corporate sector is working only for its self-interest and is not bothered about the lives of others. It works on a system, and not on compassion, and those who run this system work only for their selfinterests and walk away with heavy perks and packages. In a democracy, the citizens form their own government and the responsibility of such a government is to work, keeping the interest of its citizens over any other interest. But, nowadays, corporates are powerful because everything runs on their funds.

 Today, the country is facing unrest over the passing of the three bills which will regulate agriculture and farmers. The unrest is expected and accepted as it is for a public cause. For the last few days, farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and western Uttar Pradesh have been agitating, while there is not much of an agitation to be seen in the other states. The reason is obvious: in these States, there are sufficient markets as well as avenues for the farmers. Bihar and other states do not have such arrangements for their farmers, on account of which their farmers are neither capable nor have reasonable earnings. The government claims that they have opened up and provided better avenues for the farmers by promulgating these laws. Farmers can now stock their produce and sell it at a good price anywhere, which will reduce the profits made by middlemen/agents. At the first glance, the stand of the government appeared to be reasonable, but on pondering over the matter deeply, I was forced to question myself about why farmers are the only one protesting over it — instead of all of us? 

I am also from an agrarian family and we do not go to the markets to sell our produce. We sell the produce to the agent/ middleman as a standing crop in the fields, for a price lesser than the MSP, which in return provides us with the better service of the agent/middleman, who procures the produce from our farms and takes the responsibility of saving the produce from the rains and stocking it. The agent/middleman also tenders payments in advance when it’s required.

 In our home, a young man comes to deliver milk from a village, and on asking him, he told us that he had sold the wheat produce at the time of harvesting at a rate of Rs 18- 19 per kg and, at present, the rate of wheat is prevailing at Rs 22-23 per kg, and that he easily manages his household through animal husbandry. At his time of need, the agent/ middleman helps him, and in return, he sells him his wheat. I recollect how, back in 2012, Arun Jaitley, the Leader of BJP in the Rajya Sabha, had stated that corporates can never work for the welfare of farmers. He had cited the examples of farmers in Europe and the Americas while addressing the Parliament, to make its Members understand how corporates there get cultivation done but farmers are in dire straits, and that the governments take care of the farmers by way of subsidies and grants. Sushma Swaraj had also said that the market and the agents are the bankers for a farmer and the reason for ‘celebrations in his house’. 

It is sad that the interests of corporates are being lobbied by their party now after assuming power. Farmers are being mesmerised with sweet dreams, while the Parliament has stamped its approval for turning them into labourers for the corporate. And this has been done by those representatives whom they had elected with the hope of seeing better times. This is the reason why farmers of half a dozen states are protesting on the roads today and the intellectuals of the country along with the chief opposition party, Congress, are battling for the rights of the farmers. The question rises again: why is this battle being waged by the farmer alone, and not by all of us? We all are busy watching the monkey business of Deepika, Sushant and Rhea on the news channels, which is not helping the nation in any manner. 

If you remember, when the produce of potatoes and onions had hit the markets, farmers had not been able to get even Rs 2 per kg for that produce. The farmers who had taken their produce to the Nasik market, after paying heavy fares, had become victims of devastation on reaching the market and had to throw their produce of potatoes and onions on the road before leaving emptyhanded. Today, we are buying potatoes and onions at Rs 40 per kg. Tomatoes also suffered from the same fate and now are selling for a price higher than Rs 100 per kg. So, who is actually earning from the produce of the farmers? Is it the trader? The answer is, yes, because he is in a position to stock the produce and to tender advance payments to the farmers. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana are prosperous and their average yearly income is around Rs 2.40 lakh, whereas that of the farmers in Bihar is Rs 44,000 only. It is even lesser in Odisha and West Bengal. The reason for this is that the farmers in Punjab and Haryana earn well with the help of the markets and the middlemen/agents, whereas in Bihar and other states, there are no such arrangements and the government does not affect the whole purchase on the MSP. 

With the promulgation of this law, the agricultural produce shall be captured by the corporates. They would purchase and stock the produce as per their whims and fancies and would further sell it at their dictated prices. They would also capture the farm fields with the concept of corporate farming and the farmer would be compelled to be their labourer. This way, corporates would rake in money after looting from the farmers’ produce. This is not an apprehension but rather a bitter truth because corporates work only for their own profits and interests. We have witnessed how they did not even blink an eyelid before laying off those employees who had founded and established their companies through their dedicated hard work.

 We have to understand that the farmer neither has the resources nor the capacity to take his produce to other states by hiring freight transport. He is also incapable of holding to his produce or stock it as he seeks the help of the middleman/ agent to sow his fields by getting the cost of the sowing and, thereafter, asks him to procure his produce. The trader does benefit, because he has the capacity and resources to procure, stock and transport the produce, but it is also true that the trader/middleman/agent has a friendly bond with the farmer. When the corporates’ system would be applied in the farms, then only the profitability of the produce would be harvested. The hopes of the farmers would be dashed down, as they would pay the farmer only according to what profits them.

 Corporates would also sell the agricultural products at a high rate to us, after stocking the same, because there is no legal regulation over the pricing of the products anymore. If we are to feed ourselves, we would be forced to buy the products from the corporates at a higher price with folded hands and stare at a food crisis in the future. This is the reason why we should not leave the farmer standing alone today. The Americans and Europeans — both the public and the governments — have never ceased to support their farmers. We should also come forward in support of them. This is not a political fight but a battle for public interest.

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AN INSTITUTION DEDICATED TO PRACTICAL LEARNING

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The National High School, a government-affiliated institution, is managed by the director of MCube Practical Classes, Manoj Mehta. The school is established close to Parshwanath Jain Derasar, Bhuyangdev, Ahmedabad. “It has been three wonderful years since the journey of making MCube Practical Classes the best perceived establishment began,” said Mehta.

According to the director, the fundamental mission of the institution is to offer value-based practical knowledge and shape the youth to spread light in the world through their insight and experience and be the best version of themselves in the future.

“We ensure that we provide a rich learning atmosphere where students can work courageously on all features of their character, be it physical, mental or scholarly. The practical institute works on addressing the requirements, expectations and dreams of the students,” he said.

MCube Practical has well-equipped labs for all subjects. It has modern scientific supplies with some of the best instructors. Since the institute is dedicated to practical classes, the labs are given utmost importance and kept up to date for the benefit of the students. The faculty is also a significant aspect of the establishment and the institution guarantees that the staff is experienced, skilful and able enough to draw out the best in their students.

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UID IS EMERGING AS A HUB FOR DESIGN THINKING

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Design education is different from other types of education, and Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID) offers students the opportunity to interact with the world through their design ideas.

UID, which is considered to be one of the fastest growing institutes in India, is a constituent college of Karnavati University. The institution was recently in the news for sharing expert information on Design Thinking. Colonel Surojit Bose, Director, Academics, Administration & International Collaboration at UID, was interviewed by India News wherein he shared UID’s thoughts on the future of design education.

“Design Thinking is now being thought of as a problem-solving activity,” said Colonel Bose in the interview. He also discussed UID’s areas of focus, and the foundation stones of building a student-centric, innovative and future-ready knowledge hub of design.

UID has recently launched a course on Global Design, as part of which, students will visit different countries in each year of the programme. “Accreditations, credentials, infrastructure, faculty, and functional international collaborations are the pillars of UID’s success,” added Col. Bose.

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OFFERING THE BEST OF TECHNOLOGY AND MACHINERY

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Rubbing shoulders with the best in the country is Bhavya Machine Tools, an established and trusted name in the field of engineering workshop machinery. It is serving different manufacturing industries like chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, steel and metal, automobile, textile, FMCG and more.

The company has a vast product basket and an immensely large network of industrial clients across the globe. With the help of a dedicated and diligent team, Bhavya Machine Tools provides 100 percent solutions to the requirements of customers at extremely competitive rates, adhering to stringent quality and service standards. The company has decades of experience and a market-focused approach which has led to a steady but phenomenal growth, from a meagre 20 products to a colossal range of 200+ products with a parallel increase of clients, both numerically and geographically.

In the past few years, the directors of Bhavya Machine Tools, Jatin Shah and Rohit Shah, have been honored by the Chief Minister of Gujarat twice because of their excellence in the field of engineering machinery and technology. Their primary focus has always been to bring the best emerging technology to serve customers domestically and globally, and empower the ‘Make In India’ campaign, empowered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Customer satisfaction, a positive attitude and a solution-oriented approach are the pillars of Bhavya Machine Tools. Remaining connected with customers and treating them as family is inculcated in each and every member of the team, which is evident from their tagline — ‘Solution with Difference’.

“The journey of Bhavya Machine Tools started 50 years ago when our father Kirtibhai Shah pioneered the business on a small scale on Relief Road. Later, in 1991, when we joined the business, we had absolutely no technical educational background,” said Jatin Shah. Despite the lack of technical knowledge, the two brothers, with their relentless determination, strived to make Bhavya Machine Tools a leader in the market of products that provide technical solutions.

When questioned about the business strategy of Bhavya Machine Tools, Rohit Shah said, “Our constant endeavour is how emerging technology can be brought to India. Being innovative is Bhavya’s ultimate strategy. To enable us to achieve this, we have not failed to participate in most of the significant exhibitions across India as well as in the Gulf countries. We believe, participating in exhibitions will update us on the latest technology and tools across the globe which Bhavya can bring to the Indian market and cater to the unfulfilled gaps. Also, we can make the world aware about the technology and machines that small scale units in India have but aren’t able to sell to the international market.”

Moreover, this is a company that creates families. The company is a platform to grow for anyone and everyone. The doors of Bhavya Machine Tools are always open for anyone who wants to enter. Anyone from any field or in need is provided the backup and support they require. The company believes that it needs to know the employees not only at the professional level but a personal level as well. The first priority is to solve the personal issues of the employees. As Bhavya’s wings spread to the international markets, the third generation of the Shah family, with their creative ideas and new technology, is set to join the family business.

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SFW THE GYM AND ZUGGOO ARE TAKING PATRONS TO THE PEAK OF FITNESS

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SFW the Gym has been on a mission to transform the citizens of Gujarat and the rest of the country into their fittest and healthiest selves for the past 7 years. It offers a unique gym and fitness club in almost all areas of Ahmedabad and Gujarat, where patrons are welcomed warmly.

SFW the Gym is known for the fundamental virtues of its excellence, passion and true understanding of sports and fitness. It is also the first to come up with the concept of the gym with a library, which helps members achieve mental health goals along with physical fitness.

Moreover, in order to bring out true transformations among members, in terms of fitness and health, people at the gym make sure that they talk to each member every day. “We inquire about their goals, tweak their fitness plans accordingly and provide guidance on how to move forward to bring out the changes that they seek,” said Manoj Rajput of SFW.

SFW the Gym also boasts of a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable trainers who assist members in their fitness journeys and make sure that they achieve their health and fitness goals. With a wide variety of workout plans and alternatives as well as the latest machines and equipment to suit the personality and lifestyle of all patrons, SFW the Gym also offers a varied range of membership plans to suit people from every walk of life.

“We, at SFW the Gym are not only proud of our mentorship for fitness, but we also take pride in changing the lives of our patrons. Though all are of different ages and body types, they have the same aspirations and passions to be fit and healthy. We are proud to be a part of their long-lasting fitness journey,” said Rajput.

He added, “We know that working out in the gym is only half the battle won. The other half depends on the food you eat. Knowing this, we have come up with a new venture, called Zuggoo.”

“We strive on providing food that is healthy, full of good nutrients and as safe as home-cooked meals. A lot of emphasis is given on quality checks and providing the best quality food,” he explained.

Besides taking people ahead in their pursuit of good health, Zuggoo is also contributing to the employment of many. The venture aims to establish about 100 franchises next, and even step into exporting.

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RONIL SHAH: THE MASTER OF CONTEMPORARY REAL ESTATE PROJECTS IN AHMEDABAD

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Ronil Shah started his career in 2013 and, within no time, made his mark on the industry. His first real estate project in Paldi area was a staggering success and there has been no looking back ever since.

Many prosperous commercial and residential projects in areas like South Bhopal, Mithakali, Paldi and Makarba have been finished under his competent guidance. He has successfully given shape to 11 projects in the past 7 years and crossed a whopping 5 lakh square feet mark in a short span. “We are aiming to cross 6 to 7 lakh square feet area by launching some groundbreaking projects in the city within the year 2020 itself,” said the young entrepreneur.

Ronil Shah also has a thriving group of employees who make sure that his visions are met without compromising on quality and concept. Distinctive concepts and designs are constantly adopted in his real estate projects to ensure that every client gets the best of both contemporary style and constructional value. “Creating a place that every person can call their own is what drives my purpose through every project I undertake,” said Shah, explaining his decision-making process and smooth running of the company.

Real estate has taken a drastic turn in the bustling city of Ahmedabad. Every residential project, commercial hub or industrial park has to abide by different sets of government rules. This creates a challenge, which Shah turns into opportunities. He keeps up with the changing times and has adapted to all new changes like RERA registration to ensure that no customer has to go through any kind of hassles while buying their dream home or office.

Ronil Shah also emphasizes on efficiency and precision in the everyday working of his company. According to him, every idea and concept has a life of its own and he always encourages employees to hone their skills by keeping up with changing scenarios in the market.

Shah has created a niche for his company and has a vision to transform the mega city of Ahmedabad into the city of contemporary style, aided by his constantly evolving and charismatic real estate projects.

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CHINA TO SANCTION LOCKHEED MARTIN, BOEING UNIT OVER TAIWAN ARMS SALE

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China said Monday it would impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin, a Boeing defence division and other US firms involved in arms sales to Taiwan. The two US companies were involved recently in a sale of nearly $2 billion worth of missiles to Taiwan.

The status of Taiwan holds potential for conflict between the United States and China, during a wider struggle for technology, security and trade supremacy. Beijing says Taiwan is an inviolable part of China to be reclaimed, by force if necessary.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the sanctions were “to safeguard national interests” and would apply to those who have “behaved badly in the process of arms sales to Taiwan”.

“We will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and security interests,” said Zhao, without giving further details on the sanctions.

Under the Donald Trump administration, the US has brought Taiwan into play as part of a wider diplomatic and economic squeeze of its rival, sending high-level envoys and boosting arms sales. The State Department said last week it had approved the sale of 135 air-to-ground missiles, in a move welcomed by Taiwan. Also approved was the sale of six MS-110 air reconnaissance pods and 11 M142 mobile light rocket launchers, taking the value of the three arms packages to $1.8 billion.

Beijing has intensified diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who believes the island is not part of “One China”.

A statement from the US State Department last week said the SLAM-ER missiles would help Taiwan “meet current and future threats”. The missiles provide “all-weather, day and night, precision attack capabilities against both moving and stationary targets” on the ground or ocean, the statement added.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said the weapons would help it “build credible combat capabilities and strengthen the development of asymmetric warfare”.

With agency inputs

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